Prepare for Tomorrow
Sign In   |   View Cart   |     |   Help
Print Course information
Email me when offered
Return to Course Catalog

> Courses

The Epic Part One   NEW!

Drawn from thirty years of teaching Great Books, this course surveys six early stages of the epic: 1) epics of warfare (Iliad, Aeneid, Mahabharata); 2) heroic slaying of cultural monsters (Beowulf, Germanic sagas); 3) homecoming or pilgrimage epics (Odyssey, Aeneid, Divine Comedy); 4) chivalric romance epics (Lancelot, Perceval, Morte Darthur, Orlando Furioso, Faerie Queen); 5) mock-epics (Don Quixote, Gulliver's Travels, Rape of the Lock, Candide); and 6) encyclopedic moral-spiritual epics (Paradise Lost, Faust, Vala, Prelude). For each work, a summary and outline including date, cultural era and ideals, heroic avatars, and plot structure will be given. NOTE: In spring of 2020 "The Epic, Part 2" will survey the greatest works of modern times in novels & films.)

Required Material
NONE. Summaries will be provided in advance. Brushing up on some works and adding to a lively discussion is highly encouraged. We will question what values changed the epic and its heroic avatars.

Suggested Reading
ALL OPTIONAL: Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, Virgil's Aeneid, Carole Satyamurti's trans. of Mahabharata (esp. "Song of the Lord"); Beowulf; Dante's Divine Comedy; Chretien's Lancelot & Perceval, Malory's Morte Darthur, Ariosto's Orlando Furioso, Spenser's Faerie Queene; Cervantes' Don Quixote, Swift's Gulliver's Travels, Pope's Rape of the Lock, Voltaire's Candide; Milton's Paradise Lost, Goethe's Faust, Blake's Marriage of Heaven and Hell and Vala, Wordsworth's Prelude.